Feverfew & Garlic

There is an amazing man called Mark who we know. He lives in the most beautiful, chocolate box  cottage and his garden is full of weird and wonderful herbs and plants. He is extremely knowledgeable about the properties of each and every one and how some can be used to help fight illnesses and various complaints. He recently told us about a lovely little herb/plant called Feverfew and how it can help migraine sufferers.


Feverfew

Feverfew Folklore. … In Medieval Europe, especially during plague years, the feverfew flower was an essential part of cottage gardens. Local lore said that planting feverfew flowers by the house, especially near the door, would help protect those inside from the disease.

Some migraine sufferers choose to eat the leaves as a preventative treatment. I’ve known of instances where gardeners with chronic migraines like to eat a few leaves every day, disguised in a sandwich or salad to mask their bitter flavour.

To dry them out you can use a dehydrator or oven set at 140°F.

Using a low heat will help to preserve the essential oils – you want the leaves to be dry and crumbly before you store them, but not so dry that they fall apart when you pick them up!

Once dried, remove leaves and flowers from the stalks and store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dark pantry. Use the dried leaves and flowers to make a tea to prevent headaches.

The tea can also be cooled and applied to the skin as an insect repellent, or used on pets as a natural flea rinse – provided, of course, that you’re not allergic or sensitive to it. Always test on a small area of your skin before use, and consult with a medical professional if you’re in any doubt that it’s safe for you to use.

Add about a quarter of a cup of fresh leaves and blooms – or 2 tablespoons dried – to a cup of boiling water, allow to steep for five minutes, then strain and cool.

Flying insects generally hate the pungent smell of the growing plant, so if you’re plagued by MOSQUITOES  try planting in pots on your patio – even the cut flower stems in a vase can deter flies.


WARNING DO NOT TAKE FEVERFEW IF you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, you must consult your doctor before taking feverfew. Feverfew may cause the uterus to contract and increase the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.

People who are allergic to members of the daisy family, chamomile, ragweed or yarrow should not take feverfew, since they are more likely to be allergic to feverfew as well.

Inform your doctor about any other medications or supplements you take before taking feverfew, it may affect the way your other treatments react in your body.


GROWING GARLIC FROM A BULB

Here at The Violet Cottage, we have recently planted garlic from bulbs that we have bought from the local greengrocers.  It’s really easy and it grows quickly. Proudly showing its green shoots within about two weeks. We used a pot of around 15” square and planted 5 or 6 bulbs. Plant individual cloves so the tips are 2.5cm (1in) below the soil surface. Space 15cm (6in) apart and in rows 30cm (12in) apart. HARVESTING Green leaves can be gathered green and used as a garnish or in salads, but the bulbs are harvested once the leaves have turned yellow.

Carefully lift them with a fork.

Lay out the bulbs to dry in an airy place. When rustling dry, they can be stored in dry place at 5-10oC (41-50F) until you’re ready to use them. 


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